Elucidating the relationships between the toxicity-based-toxicokinetic (TBTK)/toxicodynamic (TD) properties of engineered nanomaterials and their nanotoxicity is crucial for human health-risk analysis. Zerovalent iron (Fe0) nanoparticles (NPs) are one of the most prominent NPs applied in remediating contaminated soils and groundwater. However, there are concerns that Fe0NP application contributes to long-term environmental and human health impacts. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a surrogate in vivo model that has been successfully applied to assess the potential nanotoxicity of these nanomaterials. Here we present a TBTK/TD approach to appraise bioaccumulation and nanotoxicity of Fe0NPs in C. elegans. Built on a present C. elegans bioassay with estimated TBTK/TD parameters, we found that average bioconcentration factors in C. elegans exposed to waterborne and food-borne Fe0NPs were ~50 and ~5×10-3, respectively, whereas 10% inhibition concentrations for fertility, locomotion, and development, were 1.26 (95% CI 0.19–5.2), 3.84 (0.38–42), and 6.78 (2.58–21) μg⋅g-1, respectively, implicating that fertility is the most sensitive endpoint in C. elegans. Our results also showed that biomagnification effects were not observed in waterborne or food-borne Fe0NP-exposed worms. We suggest that the TBTK/TD assessment for predicting NP-induced toxicity at different concentrations and conditions in C. elegans could enable rapid selection of nanomaterials that are more likely to be nontoxic in larger animals. We conclude that the use of the TBTK/TD scheme manipulating C. elegans could be used for rapid evaluation of in vivo toxicity of NPs or for drug screening in the field of nanomedicine.
- Caenorhabditis elegans
- Toxicity-based-toxicokinetic/toxicodynamic modeling
- Zerovalent iron nanoparticles